Not a lot of information is available on the Dutch industrial designer Gijs van der Sluis. Particularly active in the 1950s and ‘60s, the self-taught, modernist designer is known for his contemporary and functional designs which included chairs , tables , sofas , and daybeds .
In 1946, van der Sluis, along with his brother Leo, established the steel furniture manufacturer, Van der Sluis Stalen Meubelen, in Culemborg. Van der Sluis had some intermediate technical training, but was mostly self-taught in the area of architecture and design. Due to van der Sluis’s design genius, the company grew exponentially from 1950 until 1990.
Besides designing for his own company, van der Sluis also designed furniture for Gispen and 't Spectrum. Arguably his most well-known design, the 540 Sofa for Gipsen (1961) boasts simple and pure lines, with the added functionality of easily transforming into a bed. His lounge chairs—such as the Model 30 and Model 36 (both 1960s)—often featured plush seating paired with chromed-metal frames and floating wooden armrests. Often confused with Martin Visser’s SZ 63 Lounge Chair (1960s), the Model 30 Lounge Chair showcases van der Sluis’ proclivity for clean lines and minimalist tendencies.
Although Van der Sluis Stalen Meubelen (known today as Vandersluis) is still in existence, the vintage furniture designed by van der Sluis—especially his sofa beds and lounge chairs—is favored on the vintage market today.
* Images courtesy of Vandersluis